Ohio man found dead after fall in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Donoho Peak

An Ohio man was found dead after he tumbled down a mountain slope Friday in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, park officials said.

Fifty-two-year-old David Shrider of Oxford, Ohio, was hiking on Donoho Peak with five friends and family members when the incident happened about halfway up the mountain, Carrie Wittmer, a spokesperson with the National Park Service, said Saturday.

A member of Shrider’s family said he had asked for help before rolling about 150 feet down the slope, park officials said in a statement Saturday. Shrider was dead when a group member found him, and Shrider’s son called 911, according to park officials. Alaska State Troopers in Glennallen were contacted about his death just after 6:30 p.m. Friday, troopers said in an online report.

Troopers did not specify why Shrider had asked for help.

Shrider’s body was recovered Saturday afternoon around 1:30 p.m. by two Wrangell St. Elias National Park search and rescue teams, as well as an Alaska State Trooper who used the park service’s fire pro-helicopter, Wittmer said.

Rescuers were dropped at a landing zone before they hiked up to retrieve Shrider’s body, she said.

His body was taken to the McCarthy airport and will be transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage so an official cause of death may be determined. The rest of the hikers, who officials believe were also from Ohio, were flown from a campsite in Donoho Basin to the airport in McCarthy, Wittmer said.


Shrider was a professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and its director of global business programs, according to a Facebook post about his death from the university’s Farmer School of Business. He graduated from Miami University in 1992 and returned as a professor in 2004, the school said.

“His positive impact and connection with his students was immeasurable, and resulted in his being named the Outstanding Professor by the Miami University Associated Student Government in 2020,” the school said.

Dear FSB faculty, staff, students, and alumni It is with tremendous sadness that we share the news of the tragic death...

Posted by Farmer School of Business on Saturday, June 26, 2021

Saturday’s hiking fatality comes a month after a string of rescues in the 13.2-million-acre national park. On May 26, a man hiking near Donoho Peak was rescued after surviving a fall hundreds of feet down a snow-covered slope and over a cliff.

On May 31, crews rescued two people whose Cessna 182 crashed three days earlier in a remote, mountainous part of Wrangell-St. Elias near Mount Hawkins.

The following day, the Alaska National Guard rescued 12 mountaineers who were stranded on Klutlan Glacier amid several days of bad weather.

Samantha Davenport

Samantha Davenport is a former ADN reporter.